Barbara Baine traveled from Mississippi to participate in this year’s Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony. In Sue St. John’s abstract art class, pictured above, Baine works on creating texture in her painting by using plastic wrap. | Alison James

Archived Story

The tradition continues

Published 12:02pm Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony has been a fixture in the area every October since 1991. This year’s art workshop featured dozens of artists and two instructors who brought their different techniques to the table.

“You always learn something,” said Barabara Baine, who came to the workshop from Mississippi. “You meet interesting people and make friends.”

This year’s art colony began Sept. 28 with instructors Peggi Kroll-Roberts and Sue St. John.

St. John’s class focused on abstract techniques.

“I like it because it’s experimental,” St. John said. “You’re constantly experimenting with different ways to texture your painting and finish a painting.”

Students in the abstract class got to experiment with different methods of texturing.

“The beauty of abstract art is you can turn it into anything you want it to be,” said Debra Griffith, who was at art colony for the first time since Towery died. “It’s really special for me to be here … It’s kind of like a reunion because there are a lot of people I used to paint with all the time, and I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Griffith, a fine arts teacher at Dadeville Elementary School, said she was hoping to learn some things she could take back to her students.

“This is fun – the kids would love this,” Griffith said, using plastic wrap to create a textured pattern for her painting. “I’ve never really allowed myself to have this much fun and freedom in art.”

The other class, taught by Kroll-Roberts, was about getting back to the basics.

“In my classes, I really hone in on the fundamentals,” Kroll-Roberts said. “The first thing I try to see is where each one stands as a painter and how far along they are.”

Joan Givens, art colony board member, was back for her second year as an art colony participant.

“I enjoy every year,” Givens said, who spent her first year at colony as a proctor before coming back again as a participant. “It’s just a great learning experience.”

The Art Colony will feature a special event tonight from 6–8 p.m., including an art exhibit with awards, announcements and a reception, which is open to the public.

Art Colony ends Oct. 3. Registration is open for Art Colony 2013, featuring instructors Julee Hutchinson and Richard Mills. For more information or email